Perhaps it all started in Chogha Mish– only about 20 kilometers to the east of Susa which was inhabited by Neolithic people in 7000 BC – that’s a lot, 9000 years ago – Chogha Mish prospered for 2000 years, a massive central structure? has been unearthed there, the place was burnt down about 5000 BC, and about 4200 BC we are told that the people who lived there migrated to current day Shush (Susa) and in away reestablished Choqha Mish at this new site. An event that corresponds to abandonment of surrounding villages, perhaps meaning they too migrated to Susa, we are told that Susa was not part of Elam at 4000 BC, it was center of distinct country roughly equivalent to current day khuzestan called Susan (Susiana), within the Uruk cultural sphere rather than Elam, we don’t know what these people called their city,
The initial settlements in Sush built a sanctuary (on which Dariush later built his palace), and an high temple (acropolises)
Control of Susan shifted between the neighbors Sumerians, Akkadians and the Elamits, from 2330 Susan became the Acadian capital until 2004 BC when it became the capital of Elam, it was the Elamits who called it, Susa a name derived from their deity Inshushinak
The city of Susa and the Elamites were totally destroyed by Assurbanipal in 647 BC; a tablet found gives an idea of the devastation:
“Susa, the great holy city, abode of their gods, seat of their mysteries, I conquered. I entered its palaces, I opened their treasuries where silver and gold, goods and wealth were amassed… I destroyed the ziggurat of Susa. I smashed its shining copper horns. I reduced the temples of Elam to naught; their gods and goddesses I scattered to the winds. The tombs of their ancient and recent kings I devastated, I exposed to the sun, and I carried away their bones toward the land of Ashur. I devastated the provinces of Elam and on their lands I sowed salt.“
The full translation is much more horrific than the summery above; it includes a horrific description of what he did to the people, from this some believes that at Susa there must have had a ziggurat but where? Where the Dariush palace was built, or somewhere else still to be found?
Shush one of the oldest cities on earth, view of what is left of the ancient city, the massive 400 acre historical site. To get an idea of the size of the site compare the castle shown by arrow no 2 with the picture of the actual castle (picture no 2 bellow)
Arrow no 1: Dariush’s palace and the Apadana about 400 BC
Arrow no 2: the castle built by the European excavation team some60 years ago – granted that they had to build themselves a safe place, but why was it built on a historical location
Arrow no 3: the grave of Saint Daniele (Sush-Daniel)
Arrow 4: the excavated part of old Sush
Arrow 5: old Elamite city 4000 BC
Very small museum just below the castle, to the left
White arrow the entrance to the Apadana
Arrow no 6: the Acropolis
The castle built by the French excavation team in about 1959
A map giving better idea of historical site
Map showing the simplified layout of the Dariush palace including the Apadana, terrace walls , and the city walls, the Apadana was built by Dariush on the remains of the Susan sanctuary (destroyed by Ashurbanipal )and the materials of the sanctuary was used in building the new palace or scattered . The excavating them however did put some small parts of this Elamite building (ziggurat?) together, which is currently kept at louvre museum Paris
A god, I mean the one holding a lion cub
We first paid a quick visit to the small shush museum, although small, but it had interesting pieces, but we did not have time to go over the items properly and this infuriated the museum manager who was, it think, quite willing to guide us through the place, as we were the only visitors, hopefully next time
A model of a 400 acre historical site, part of what was once shush, initially the site was part of old Elamite shush that went back perhaps to 4 0r 5000 BC with complex of temples, then around 4000 BC, when Dariush conquered nearly most of the world, he then built an Apadana a befitting seat of administration for ruler of such vast area with no telephones, e-mails or cars .to the right are the excavated part of the old city of sush and Daniels shrine to the left ,marked 15th city? Is an old Eremite city recently excavated?
Heads of queen and king …. From Haft Tapeh near Choqha Zanbil and a death mask
We first climbed the site to see the Apadana, the Apadana is A columned rectangular hall facing south with verandas on three sides ( 6 the hall, 7,8 and 9 the verandas)
This is what is left of the Apadana which had 6o massive columns in the hall, not counting the 36 columns in the three verandas on the sides,( you can see Ail more and more leaning to his right), unfortunately lately there has been news of vandalism at the site, people destroying the column bases ?
The picture gives an idea of the size of the column, in your mind picture a column 20 meters high, and 8.68 meters between the columns topped by massive two headed bulls, weighing tons
The palace was built on a raised platform about 15 meters high surrounded with rammed earth wall, on top of this platform were about 100 such enormous columns, each 20 meters high, topped with massive figures of two headed stone bulls bull
The cavity at the back of the bull was for placing the load bearing beams supporting the sealing – louver museum
The interior was decorated with many colored tiles, such as this guard (to the left)
Horned bulls and colorful shapes, The place was designed to give the visiting dignitaries from all over the world the impression of meeting the ruler of the world, the person entering the Apadana after passing through gates and halls would find dariush seated in the middle of the Apadana – more to the back -I am sure that they would hear him but I am not sure if the protocol allowed them to see him, he was separated from the visitors by a thin curtain and only few were privileged to see him directly
The Apadana perhaps looked something like this
The palace complex with the temples at the background probably looked something like this, very much like a Greek acropolis. Who was influenced by whom, Persians influenced by Egyptian temples which they had just conquered, or by Greek through their builders, or were they both influenced by Egyptians?
Drawing of acropolis in Athens, Greece
Such departure from Elamite architecture of ziggurats
What is left of the rooms behind the Apadana, with view of the castle?
A Japanese group making a film of the site
There are remains of other buildings to the east with no one to explain
Part of the palace forced earth wall, about 15 meters high, and filled with earth
There is a structure to the east OF Apadana hall; it looks like a pool, perhaps a garden, or an entrance. The palace must have been surrounded by marvelous famous Elamite gardens, it is interesting that the Apadana has its back to the temples at acropolis; perhaps Dariush was very politely introducing himself as more of the equal to the Elamite gods
The view to north of the Apadana, perhaps the valley was filled with gardens or houses
The view to the back of the Apadana hall, looks like a valley between two long hills perhaps waiting to be excavated
The back of the palace raised platform, just earth no rammed earth covering, and what is called the royal city on the map(arrow2) and on the far side(arrow 1) just over the hill are the remains of an old Elamite settlement called “15th city”?. god has given us everything, oil, gas, historical places, intelligent people and all we do is erase our and the worlds memory of the past?
Further behind the palace, and what is called acropolis, a massive large area
Huge unexplained structures; this is all that is left of a glorious past. Those who want to enjoy their visit to shush should come with an image of the past in their head to project on what is left
The view of mush disputed Denials shrine (historically) in the twilight from top of Apadana, we don’t have time to see it, it is nearly dark and agha Ali is very tired
And we set of back for our house at Khorramshahr 200 kilometers away at around 8.00 pm, a long day
Little shopping on the way home, quick shower and I made a marvelous dinner, ali is hungry, 10 minutes after dinner we were both sleep to sound of gas air-conditioning units, we slept for 14 hours
Hey more sightseeing?
great body language